65-acre farm in Mid-Kerry with po­ten­tial up for auc­tion

Irish Examiner - Farming - - PROPERTY - Conor Power

Fol­low­ing on their suc­cess­ful pub­lic auc­tion of a 52- acre hold­ing near Far­ran­fore last June, Tom Spil­lane Auc­tion­eers in Kil­lar­ney are look­ing for­ward to an­other pub­lic auc­tion of a larger piece of Kerry land on Thurs­day, September 28, at 3pm in the Kil­lar­ney Royal Ho­tel.

Com­ing un­der the ham­mer of auc­tion­eer Tom Spil­lane this time is a 64.75-acre farm in the town­land of Knock­rour East near the vil­lage of Scarta­glen in mid-Kerry.

I t ’ s l o c at e d j u s t o f f t h e road be­tween Scarta­glen and Bal­ly­desmond, ap­prox­i­mately 4km from Scarta­glen. Far­ran­fore Air­port is 17km to the west while the thriv­ing mar­ket town of Castleis­land is 13km away.

The land around here is of good qual­ity and very pro­duc­tive, with its gen­tly un­du­lat­ing land­scape of good soil. The hold­ing is be­ing sold on be­half of the es­tate of the late Mary Quin­lan and it’s a prop­erty that hasn’t been farmed in a while, ac­cord­ing to Tom. This is, there­fore, a place with quite a bit of po­ten­tial for the right client.

These days, f inding the right client for such prop­er­ties isn’t as straight­for­ward as it might have been just a cou­ple of years ago. In to­day’s mar­ket, the strength­en­ing hand of the dairy farmer seems to be more in play in land leases rather than in pur­chases.

That sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing, h o w e ve r , a n d a n e c d o t a l ev­i­dence sug­gests a marked up­turn in dairy farm­ers pur­chas­ing land once more. But it is the forestry mar­ket that is still clearly on the rise and on the look­out for lands. In­vestors in­ter­ested in plan­ta­tions are now more in­clined to look to lands lower down and of lesser qual­ity and this farm is one that might tick a few boxes for that sec­tor.

“It was a good farm once upon a time,” says Tom of the hold­ing. “But it has po­ten­tial to be brought up to a good stan­dard again: If you look at all the ground around it, it is good.

“It will at­tract in­ter­est from lo­cal farm­ers but also the forestry peo­ple, who are re­ally keen to get un­planted land at the mo­ment as op­posed to 20- year- old plan­ta­tions.”

The farm is ac­cessed via a pub­lic road and it has a derelict sin­gle- storey farm­house with it. Taken to­gether with the fact that it does have some good graz­ing, it may well rep­re­sent a good op­por­tu­nity for some­one look­ing to set up a good-sized res­i­den­tial hold­ing that would im­prove with work or in­deed an op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend a cur­rent hold­ing. “There are some very pro­duc­tive farm­ers not far away from this farm,” says Tom, “and they will be look­ing to add on to their farms, I would imag­ine.”

The pos­si­bil­ity of a forestry in­ter­est bid­ding on the land is a real one in the cur­rent cli­mate and the level of price be­ing paid for forestry land is still on the in­crease na­tion­ally, with some auc­tion­eers re­port­ing prices of up to €6,000 per acre; al­beit in the more ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances. “There’s good in­ter­est from both sets (of sec­tors) so hope­fully we’ll have a good day at the of­fice.”

The farm also en­joys the in­creas­ingly rare ad­van­tage of en­ti­tle­ments. There are 25 en­ti­tle­ments at­tached, ac­cord­ing to Tom, and fur­ther de­tails of their value can be ob­tained from the auc­tion­eer’s of­fice in Kil­lar­ney.

The price ex­pec­ta­tion is in the re­gion of €5,000 per acre. It’s a price that should be very much achiev­able on the day. It’s a sub­stan­tial block of land that of­fers a num­ber of in­trigu­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties to a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent po­ten­tial clients, all of whom should be in­ter­ested in bid­ding for an op­por­tu­nity that doesn’t come along too of­ten.

“We’re guid­ing in the re­gion of €5,000 per acre and I would b e h o p i n g t h at we would achieve that if not more,” says Tom.

This 64.75-acre farm at Knock­rour East near Scarta­glen in Mid-Kerry will be auc­tioned on September 28.

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